Yale Himalaya Initiative

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Yale Responds to Nepal Earthquake

May 12, 2015

Yale Responds to Nepal Earthquake:
‘Our Commitment Will Continue’

In the days since a deadly 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, causing devastation across a 5,600-square-mile area, members of the Yale community have been involved in a variety of response activities.
During the first few days, members of the Nepali Association of Yale Affiliates (NAYA) helped translate into Nepali critical UN situation reports and the Facebook app that has allowed people to better understand the rescue and relief efforts and track down friends and family located in areas impacted by the quake. An even larger coalition — coordinated by the Yale Himalaya Initiative (YHI) and the F&ES-based Yale Urbanization and Globalization Lab — is using satellite-based imagery to help identify vulnerable regions that are in the most dire need of assistance.  
As director of the Yale Himalaya Initiative, Alark Saxena, a lecturer at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES), was working with partner organization Lutheran World Relief across Nepal and India to develop resilience long before the earthquake ever struck. In an interview, he describes how Yale has been able to coordinate its vast resources and interdisciplinary expertise to provide support during this crisis — and how the Yale Himalaya Initiative’s longer-term mission will help make communities across the Himalayan region more prepared for future threats.

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